On the theory of better late than never:
Mich St (-4) over ILLINOIS - A new QB isn't going to fix the Illini.
Maryland (+12.5) over WAKE - Are we really this bad?
Indiana (+6.5) over VIRGINIA - Last week was a fluke for the Cavs against a mediocre UNC.
PITT (-7) over Uconn - Pitt looks really strong.
Alabama (-4.5) over OLE MISS - Still waiting to see a dominant performance from the Rebels.
Houston (+2.5) over MISS ST - Is anyone ready to say Miss St is better than Okla St or TT?
LSU (+8.5) over Florida - I predict a low-scoring game, with Tebow a little rusty. LSU's defense is good enough to keep them in this.
Michigan (+8) over IOWA - I'm still not sold on the Hawkeyes.
Last week: 4-3
October 10, 2009
On the theory of better late than never:
Contributed by Russell at 10/10/2009 12:06:00 PM
Week 5. Lots of explosive offense on Bye this week. And lots of curious lines out there.
Two great weeks balanced out my awful start to bring me back into contention. My only loss last week was when I violated my own rules about never trying to pick Steelers games. I normally tend to be too pessimistic about them.
Minnesota (-10) over ST. LOUIS - Ten points is a lot to be giving up on the road, but the Vikings look like the real deal and the Rams appear to be historically awful. Can we have two teams go 0-16 in back-to-back years?
CAROLINA (-4) over Washington - I know the Panthers haven't won in forever, but they're coming off a bye week and getting the Redskins at home. Conditions don't get much more favorable than that.
SAN FRANCISCO (-2.5) over Atlanta - The 49ers are 4-0 against the spread so far this year. Even though Atlanta's coming off a bye, they have to go cross-country to play a good team.
DENVER (+3.5) over New England - The Patriots have been really struggling for their wins, and the Broncos are undefeated ATS. Also, you have to believe this game means more to McDaniel than Belichick.
ARIZONA (-5.5) over Houston - The Cardinals destroyed the Jaguars in Jacksonville, and the Texans lost to the Jags at home. Transitive property of football, and all that.
So many big numbers on the board this week, but I'll stick with the teams I've seen each week.
BALTIMORE (-8.5) over Cincinnati - As a Ravens fan, I know how this plays out. The team knows they made a lot of mistakes at Foxboro, got jobbed by the refs a couple times and still came a Mark Clayton drop away from walking out with a win. They didn't run enough against New England, and coaches and players alike are going to reestablish that the Ravens are a force in the AFC, along with the Colts.
CAROLINA (-4) over Washington - The Redskins have a chance to play their first six games against winless teams (0-0 Giants, 0-1 St. Louis, 0-2 Detroit, 0-3 Tampa Bay, 0-3 Carolina and presently 0-4 Kansas City). They are a very bad team, just better than St. Louis and even with Tampa Bay. Carolina is a mediocre team off to a bad start. I'll take that, despite Delhomme's home disasters recently.
KANSAS CITY (+8) over Dallas - Dallas has all the makings of an 8-8 team at the moment. They have no margin of error, and Arrowhead is still a tough place to play.
New England (-3.5) over DENVER - I'm going to refuse to respect Denver right up to when they clinch the AFC West in Week 15.
NY Jets (-1.5) over MIAMI - The Jets and Sanchez were embarrassed last week. This is the game that determines the direction of the Jets.
Is it too early in the season to just give up? I'm officially swearing off picking 'Skins games. 0-4 this season on them.
Cincinnati (+8.5) over BALTIMORE - M&T isn't an easy place to play, but I think the Bengals are too good to get this many points.
Minnesota (-10) over ST. LOUIS - I hate picking road teams to cover double digit spreads. I'll make an exception.
New England (-3.5) over DENVER - Last week's Pats game really impressed me. Still not entirely impressed by any of the Broncos' wins.
Indianapolis (-3.5) over TENNESSEE - I had no idea just how far the Titans have fallen from last season until I watched last week's game against the Jags. Wow.
KANSAS CITY (+8) over Dallas - I have trouble seeing where Dallas will score enough points to cover this spread comfortably, especially on the road.
Magic 8 Ball (5-15-0)
Nothing like an 0-5 week for the Magic 8 Ball.
BALTIMORE (-8.5) over Cincinnati - "Yes." (Ravens will beat the spread)
Minnesota (-10) over ST. LOUIS - "No." (Rams won't beat the spread)
DENVER (+3.5) over New England - "Signs point to yes." (Broncos will beat the spread)
TENNESSEE (+3.5) over Indianapolis - "My sources say yes." (Titans will beat the spread)
Dallas (-8) over KANSAS CITY - "No." (Chiefs won't beat the spread)
Minnesota (-10) over ST. LOUIS
Pittsburgh (-10.5) over DETROIT
SAN FRANCISCO (-2.5) over Atlanta
New England (-3.5) over DENVER
NY Jets (-1.5) over MIAMI
Brien: ARI, CAR, DEN, MIN, SF
October 7, 2009
ESPN is reporting that the Browns have traded Braylon Edwards to the Jets, presumably in exchange for Eric Mangini's dignity. To my fellow Ravens fans who will clamor today that we need to make a play for a big time receiver to compliment Derrick Mason: relax.
October 6, 2009
This is the first in a running feature at ECB. We’ll be rating NFL Fanbases by annoyingness and picking a winner for each division. After that, we’ll select wild card teams, and have ourselves a little playoff. If you have suggestions for upcoming divisions or wildcard selections, send them to email@example.com
Quick Reaction: Dedicated fans, but maybe the altitude affects them a bit too much.
Broncos fans used to be the lovable losers of the NFL during the Orange Crush years. People felt sorry for people who cheered for John Elway but had to suffer crushing defeats year after year.
That all changed after Denver won back-to-back Super Bowls. Instead of the lovable losers in bright orange jerseys, Broncos fans had turned into insufferable bandwagoners with crazily-striped jerseys and mile high salutes.
Kansas City Chiefs
Quick Reaction: Great home field advantage that’s faded in recent years.
Chiefs fans used to make Arrowhead one of the loudest stadiums in the league, but years and years of mediocrity (and worse) have taken away some of that intimidation.
Other than that, Chiefs fans come across as friendly mid-westerners who would invite you to their tailgate and then involve you in a fight about what style of barbeque is the best.
Quick Reaction: Costumes at football games = LAME (except for this)
Raiders fans pride themselves on intimidating the opposing fans through elaborate costumes with skulls and metal. They also extol the team’s “Tradition of Excellence” (ha) even though the owner’s a senile crackpot.
And let’s not forget the Raiders starter jacket craze of the early 90s. Non-football fans wearing team apparel reflects badly on other fans. This is why people hate Notre Dame fans (well, part of it at least).
I also had a boss who was a Raiders fan. Big surprise, he was a total douche bag.
San Diego Chargers
People just don’t seem very into the Chargers. Those who are Chargers fans seem to be much more interested in discussing the merits of powder blue vs. navy blue more than how good the team is. Their recent success has brought a lot of fans out of the woodwork, but overall they just don’t care enough to be that annoying.
The Big Winner
Oakland Raiders – This one wasn’t even close. Raiders fans are unbelievably annoying, and no one should even attempt to dispute this.
Next week we’ll tackle the NFC West. It should be a bit closer competition.
October 5, 2009
The good news for the Steelers is that they found a running game tonight and jumped out to a commanding 28-0 lead. They also made up a game on the Ravens and Bengals.